Monday, June 10, 2013

Guatemalan Locked Up for One Year to Win Right to Attorney in Deportation Proceedings

The docket information for a Guatemalan respondent who had appealed his deportation order based on his need for an attorney was recently released by the Executive Office of Immigration Review following FOIA litigation. The respondent also was released from custody, after being locked up for about a year.

The docket information on the case locator system used by the Executive Office of Immigration Review shows more evidence of the incompatibility of the deportation machine with the rule of law.  In January, 2012 the respondent requested an attorney and to be released from custody.  Unfortunately the respondent had the bad luck of  appearing before Sylvia Arrellano, who ignored his entreaty for a hearing on his asylum claims and ordered him deported to Guatemala.

The respondent in Matter of CB appealed and won, but it took a year.

As the docket shows, after the case was remanded in August, 2012.  Then it took more than a month before a new master calender hearing.  A new full hearing is scheduled for January, 2014, 2 years after the respondent was first taken into ICE custody.

The record here is not clear on the terms of release, if any.  UPDATE: sorry, worked on this late last night and just noticed that docket indicates the respondent has been released!  Somehow it took a year for this to happen.  The case was assigned to immigration judge Dana Marks in San Francisco. It's still unclear how this happened because  no new bond hearing is noted. The information here is consistent with a) the DHS unilaterally changing the terms of custody; b) poor record keeping.

Meanwhile, two Guatemalans committed suicide this spring at the nearby Eloy Detention Center.

For background on the FOIA litigation behind obtaining this, please go here.  Thanks again to Andrew Free of the Ozment Law Firm and Sam Niiro, Northwestern Class of 2016 and Deportation Research Clinic FOIA specialist.

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